Child killer denied full parole over refusal to take responsibility for actions

first_imgAn Ontario woman serving a life sentence for the murder of an eight-year-old boy has once again been denied full parole after authorities found she continued to deflect responsibility for her actions.Amina Chaudhary, 55, who married another inmate and had three children while behind bars, has been on day parole and living in a halfway house for a year.The Parole Board of Canada last week rejected her application for full parole, saying she consistently blames others for her fate.Chaudhary was convicted in 1984 of killing her former lover’s nephew but maintains her innocence and is seeking a ministerial review of her case, having already exhausted other legal options.She met her husband, Anees Chaudhary — also a convicted murderer — while in pre-trial custody, eventually giving birth to three now-adult children who were raised by friends or the state.Documents show Chaudhary sought release to go live with her husband, who is already on parole and recently suffered a stroke, leaving him in need of care and unable to run his limousine business.But in its decision, the board raised concerns about Chaudhary’s enduring belief in her own innocence and her general evasiveness when confronted about her behaviour.The two-member panel also noted Chaudhary, who faces deportation, had requested a transfer to another halfway house on pretense of wanting to be closer to her family when in fact she sought to distance herself from a parole officer who was challenging her immigration case.“While you have not been problematic on release, and have utilized your brief period on day parole to predominantly care for your husband, the board continues to have serious concerns regarding your lack of insight in your offence cycle, your shifting evasive and vague answers that occur with some regularity and your documented attempts at manipulation which you simply deny,” the decision reads.“As noted the board has no confidence that your risk factors have been identified and mitigated given your persistent denial of the index offence.”Chaudhary was previously granted day parole and her husband full parole but both were taken back into custody in 2010 over concerns about financial irregularities, though no charges were laid.Chaudhary was also released on day parole for six months in 2012 but spent that time in custody on a deportation order, which immigration officials have not been able to enforce because neither India nor the U.K. will issue her travel documents.Her last attempt at obtaining full parole led to her release on day parole last year. In November, the Correctional Service of Canada recommended that be upgraded to full parole, but the board instead extended her day parole for another six months and scheduled a hearing to weigh a possible change.At her hearing last week, she again denied committing the murder but would not say who she believes the killer to be.“Given your protestations of innocence and your decades-long fight to clear your name it seems somewhat implausible that you would not share this information,” the board said.Prosecutors argued a vengeful rage prompted Chaudhary to slay eight-year-old Rajesh Gupta, who was left in her care while his uncle, her ex-lover, travelled to India for an arranged marriage to another woman.Gupta was strangled in February 1982 with the drawstring cord of his ski jacket hood, packed in a cardboard box and dumped in a remote section of east Toronto where the former couple used to meet.Chaudhary has said that she was pregnant and recovering from an arm wound at the time and would not have been able to kill a struggling boy.At her trial, however, now-disgraced pathologist Charles Smith testified that autopsy photos showed damage to Gupta’s skull indicating the boy had been knocked out before he was murdered.Attempts to find the photos and have them re-examined were unsuccessful, and eventually her file with the Innocence Project was closed.last_img read more

We play for them Bronco to return to ice for his first

first_imgHUMBOLDT, Sask. – Humboldt Broncos player Tyler Smith had a broken collarbone, a broken shoulder blade and nerve damage down his left arm.He was on the junior hockey team’s bus when it collided with a semi-trailer at a Saskatchewan intersection on the way to a playoff game. Sixteen people died.Smith, now 20, was one of the 13 players who were hurt.He has mostly recovered — other than some nerve damage in his left hand and wrist — and he plans to play Friday in his first game with the Broncos since the crash.“I’m really excited, but at the end of the day I’m still pretty nervous,” Smith told The Canadian Press. “It’ll be OK after the first couple shifts but that first shift is going to be a lot of emotions. Even before the game it’s going to be pretty emotional.“We play for them is a really true statement … I just really want to play for them.”The 6-foot-1, 185-pound forward from Leduc, Alta., said he had juggled the idea of playing for the team again as he recovered from his injuries.“I just want to get back to it,” he said. “A couple of weeks before I came, I decided to get up and go.”He started practising with this year’s team, which includes Brayden Camrud and Derek Patter. They were the only two players who were involved in the crash who are back on the Broncos roster this season.Smith was in Humboldt to watch the team’s emotional Sept. 12 home opener but he said it was difficult to return as a player.The toughest part was being back in the dressing room — which still has the inspirational words of his former coach on the wall — without so many of his teammates.“We were a special and tight-knit team so getting into a new dressing room atmosphere was a different feeling,” he said. “It’s a good group of guys here and I’m excited for them. They’ve been awesome throughout already.”Smith said having Camrud and Patter on the team was a huge help.They helped ease him back into practice.Camrud and Patter were also on his first bus ride last weekend when he tweeted “as horrible as it was, I know my 16 amazing angels were watching over from the second I stepped on to the second I stepped off.”Smith said getting back on a bus was another step forward.“It was very tough,” he said. “Obviously that brings back memories, flashbacks … pretty much everything.“If I needed something, they were there. I just took some deep breaths and tried to get through it.”Smith said he knows it will be a long road ahead.“Mentally it’s more of a day-by-day process,” he said. “I take a step back when I need to, a lot of deep breaths.“Mentally it’s a whole different story. Physically I feel as though I’m ready but mentally, that’ll come.”— By Colette Derworiz in Edmonton.last_img read more

Global Goals Awards Honor Champions For Womens And Girls Rights

first_imgThe first annual UNICEF Global Goals Awards last week honoured a lawyer who fights against child marriage in Tanzania, a Syrian teen and Olympic swimmer who saved fellow refugees from drowning, and an organization that brings health care to vulnerable girls and women in Pakistan.The three honourees were recognized for their contributions to advancing the rights of girls and women. Leaders from business, government and entertainment attended the ceremony including award presenters Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Correspondent for CNN, entrepreneur and Curator of TED Chris Anderson and Grammy Award winner and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo.The Global Goals Awards are part of ongoing efforts to rally support for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of goals unanimously adopted by every country in the world to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all by 2030.The awards were curated by UNICEF with the 17 SDG Advocates forming the official judging panel. 
Winners of the Global Goals Awards: • The Girl Award 
(to a girl or young woman for laudable work in creating progress for girls) 

Winner: Yusra Mardini, Syria
Now in Germany, 18-year-old Yusra Mardini and her sister fled conflict in Syria in 2015. While traveling across the Aegean Sea their raft broke down and the sisters jumped into the water and helped guide the boat to safety, saving about 20 people on board. At the Rio Olympics Yusra was part of the Refugee Olympic Team and used the opportunity to tell her story and raise awareness about the plight of refugees and migrants around the world. Yusra also won her heat in the butterfly. 
 • The Social Change Award 
(to an individual who achieved significant social change for girls) 

Winner: Rebeca Gyumi, Tanzania
Rebeca Gyumi is a lawyer, activist and the founder and executive director of the Msichana Initiative, a Tanzanian non-profit that advocates for girls’ rights and access to education. Rebeca and the Msichana Initiative won a landmark court case in July that ended legal provisions permitting child marriage in the country.
 • The Campaigner Award 
(to an individual or organization improving the lives of girls and women) 

Winner: DoctHERS, represented by Dr.Sara Saeed Khurram, Pakistan 
The social enterprise DoctHERS matches trained junior female doctors in Pakistan with rural women and girls via telemedicine. DoctHERS reaches vulnerable girls and women with essential health care in Pakistan, while providing employment opportunities for qualified female health professionals.last_img read more

BC sets new greenhouse reduction targets to 60 per cent by 2040

first_imgVICTORIA – British Columbia’s government is counting on businesses, communities and residents to help fight climate change over the coming decades, the province’s environment minister said Monday.George Heyman has introduced legislation that includes new targets for dramatic cuts to carbon pollution, aiming for a 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over the next 12 years.By 2040, the province wants emission levels to be slashed by 60 per cent, Heyman said.“We have to make steady progress,” he said. “We have to tell British Columbians what our comprehensive plan is.”Heyman said the plan will involve reducing emissions in the transportation industry, cutting energy consumption in public, commercial and residential buildings, and exploring new climate-friendly technologies.“I know that industry is here to work with us,” he said. “We’re working with them in a way that will keep them in business, keep them providing jobs for British Columbians and meeting our climate targets.”Currently, B.C. has a target of reducing carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. Heyman said the new legislation will not change that goal.The targets are based on emission levels measured in 2007.The former Liberal government introduced legislated goals a decade ago to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent by 2020. In 2015, the government said it could not hit that target but was still aiming for reductions.Heyman said his government will release its climate strategy this fall, including plans to establish emission reduction action for industries and communities.Andrew Weaver, leader of the Green Party, said in a statement that the new targets are a step towards making B.C. a leader in climate action.“This is a huge opportunity to build a thriving 21st-century economy centred around innovation,” he said.last_img read more

BC SPCA launches campaign to highlight dangers of dogs in hot cars

first_imgFor more information and to order #NoHotPets decals; CLICK HERESigns of Heatstroke in dogs from the BC SPCA;Signs of heatstroke include exaggerated panting (or the sudden stopping of panting), rapid or erratic pulse, salivation, anxious or staring expression, weakness and muscle tremors, lack of coordination, convulsions or vomiting, and collapse.If the animal is showing signs of heatstroke and you’re able to safely and lawfully move the animal out of the vehicle, do the following: Move the animal to a cool, shady place.Wet the animal with cool water. Do not apply ice as this will constrict blood flow and discourage cooling.Fan the animal to promote evaporation. This cools the blood, helping to reduce the animal’s core temperature.Allow the animal to drink some cool water (or to lick ice cream if no water is available).Take the dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible for further treatment. VANCOUVER, B.C. – With the summer season here, the BC SPCA has launched a #NoHotPets campaign to urge dog owners to keep their pets safe at home and not leaving pets in hot cars.As summer temperatures can be deadly, especially for dogs left in parked vehicles, the non-profit animal welfare society is reminding pet owners of the dangers of animals left in hot vehicles.center_img The BC SPCA has launched the #NoHotPets campaign to inform people of the dangers of dogs in hot cars, steps to take if you see an animal in distress and free car decals people can request to help spread the word and save lives.“Every year our constables receive hundreds of calls to rescue dogs in distress in hot vehicles,” says Lorie Chortyk, general manager of communications for the BC SPCA. “Sadly, some dogs have already died by the time we are called. It is so tragic because it is a completely preventable death.”Chortyk says many dog owners don’t realize how quickly their cars can become a death trap for their pet. “Even on a cloudy day, parked in the shade with the windows rolled down, a vehicle can reach temperatures that put animals in peril in just 10 minutes,” she says. “Dogs can’t release heat from their bodies in the same way that humans can – they can only dissipate heat by panting and through the pads of their paws – so their internal temperatures reach dangerous levels very quickly.”Chortyk says even leaving the air conditioning on in a car is no guarantee that your pet is safe. “These systems have been known to break down, with tragic results.”The following steps are recommended by the BC SPCA if people see an animal in a hot car;Note the license plate, vehicle colour, make and model and ask managers of nearby businesses to page the owner to return to their vehicle immediately.If the animal is in distress, call the police, RCMP, local animal control agency or the BC SPCA call centre at 1-855-622-7722 as soon as possible. The call centre is open seven days a week, Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM, and Saturdays and Sunday between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. Emergencies outside of those hours should be reported to your local police department or RCMP.“We also encourage people to keep our call centre number in their phones so they can access it easily if they see an emergency situation,” says Chortyk. “Members of the public should not attempt to break a window to free a pet themselves. Not only can this be dangerous for the animals if they are struck by glass, but it is also illegal and puts the Good Samaritan on the wrong side of the law.”last_img read more

Cyprus leaders hold another round of UNbacked talks

Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat held a 90-minute tête-à-tête in Nicosia and then resumed discussions on immigration, asylum and related issues, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative Tayé-Brook Zerihoun told journalists. The two leaders agreed to meet again on 6 August, when they will conclude their deliberations on these topics. Next week they will also discuss the schedule and programme for the resumption of the talks in early September after a break over the August holiday period.Today’s discussions were only the latest round of UN-backed talks between the two leaders aimed at reunifying the island of Cyprus.In May 2008, Mr. Christofias and Mr. Talat committed themselves to working towards “a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as defined by relevant Security Council resolutions.” The partnership would comprise a Federal Government with a single international personality, along with a Turkish Cypriot Constituent State and a Greek Cypriot Constituent State, which would be of equal status. 30 July 2009Immigration, citizenship and asylum were again among the key topics of discussion today when Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders held their latest round of United Nations-backed talks on the possible reunification of the Mediterranean island. read more

Toronto police arrest 16 men in 37 robberies

In partnership with @HaltonPolice @DRPS @gpsmedia @YRP @HamiltonPolice this property recovered by @TorontoPolice HUS— SSgt Darla Tannahill (@TannahillTPS) December 22, 2016 Toronto Police have arrested 16 men and are looking for three others in a multi-jurisdictional robbery investigation.Police say the group of men include several members of two known gangs — The Complex Crip Gangsters and the Treyy Money Gang.The violent robberies took place at banks and stores across the GTA including one in Hamilton at a Hasty Market on Mohawk Rd. East.Several weapons including handguns, a sawed-off shotgun and a bolt-action shotgun were used to threaten the victims during the robberies.Netson Jones, 20, Jahdine Desir, 18, and a 17-year-old are currently wanted by police.Anyone with additional information is asked by police to contact (416) 808-7350 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers.To view the full list of charges, click here. read more

UN agency praises Kazakh decision not to extradite refugee to Uzbekistan

The decision comes less than a week after four Uzbek refugees and an asylum seeker were sent back by neighbouring Kyrgyzstan, a move that was sharply criticized by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) which expressed grave fears for their safety. UNHCR said today it has heard nothing about the five since their forced return.“We particularly welcome the open and cooperative spirit in which this case has been resolved, and the level of professionalism demonstrated by the Kazakh authorities in the process,” UNHCR spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis told reporters in Geneva today.The Uzbek refugee in Kazakhstan, who had been living in the country for seven years with his family, was detained in late June following an Uzbek extradition request. After a thorough review, UNHCR considered the claims against him groundless and that he was in need of international protection and recognised him as a refugee.“We feared his life would be in danger if he was returned to Uzbekistan,” the spokesperson said. “The Kazakh authorities also concluded the evidence upon which the extradition request was based was insufficient and rejected the request.”Last week’s forced return of the Uzbeks by Kyrgyzstan was a “serious violation” of the 1951 Refugee Convention, Ms. Pagonis said, while adding that the agency was reassured by Kazakhstan’s commitment to the agreement as shown by today’s decision. The refugee was handed over to the UNHCR in the city of Almaty.“We see this as the result of a long-standing cooperation between UNHCR and the government, aimed at strengthening Kazakhstan’s capacity to provide international refugee protection as set out in international refugee law.” read more

Orphan oil and gas wells adopted by rookie Alberta energy company founder

Orphan oil and gas wells adopted by rookie Alberta energy company founder by Dan Healing, The Canadian Press Posted Aug 25, 2017 6:43 am MDT Last Updated Aug 25, 2017 at 7:20 am MDT CALGARY – Where some see only a jumble of rusted pipes and black tanks jutting from a weed-infested yard in a prairie grain field, Tyler Visscher sees opportunity.The 31-year-old Red Deer, Alta., electrician is trying to build an oil and gas company the hard way, by scouring the Orphan Well Association’s list of parentless wells in Alberta in hopes of picking out a few winners.He “adopted” his first well two years ago — bought it, actually — and is now wading through a “whack of paperwork” to buy a second.“Oh, yeah, it’s a gamble for sure,” says the budding oilman. “With everything, there’s a risk, right?”The crash in commodity prices of the past three years has been linked to a dramatic increase in orphans — oil and gas wells assigned to the OWA because there’s no owner financially able to seal the wells, remove equipment and restore the land when their productive life ends.In the fiscal year ended March 31, the OWA had 1,391 wells on its list designated for abandonment, up from 768 a year earlier.As of July 6, the list had climbed to 1,438.That number doesn’t include 1,380 wells the regulator assigned to the OWA in an unprecedented move early this year after owner Lexin Resources was accused of ignoring AER orders and regulations. The former Lexin assets are being marketed as a package by its receiver in a process expected to wrap up this fall.Many assume orphan wells and related assets are all liability with no value but the Alberta Energy Regulator says that’s not the case.“Recently, many wells, pipelines and facilities have been deemed orphans because their owners have gone bankrupt, despite the fact that they are still capable of producing, transporting or processing oil or gas,” said AER spokesman Ryan Bartlett.In an effort to place those assets with responsible new owners, the AER has provided a database on the OWA website that gives orphan well locations and history — information designed to attract potential buyers.“It’s very time-consuming because you have to scour these wells and you have to figure out, ‘OK, why is this well on the list?’” said Visscher.“Was it bad management and the company went bankrupt and now this well is in the orphan well list? Or is the well a poor well? Was it not completed properly? Was it not operated properly? You have to go through, kinda like a detective.”To take over the well’s production — and responsibility for its environmental liability — the buyer must acquire the underground mineral rights and surface access rights before applying for a licence transfer from the AER.Not many bother. The AER says the number of licence transfer applications it has handled has increased from four in 2013 to 20 in 2016.Visscher said it took several months to buy his first well east of Calgary. And many hours of work to clean it up after years of neglect.The Crown lease had been returned to the province so he nominated it for public auction and filed the successful bid to buy the mineral rights. He then negotiated an agreement with the landowner, a farmer who hadn’t been paid rent by the previous insolvent owner in four or five years, to gain surface access.To complete the licence transfer, he then had to pay a $10,000 fee to the OWA. To ensure the wellsite will eventually be reclaimed, he has also had to post a $100,000 bond with the AER.In all, he says it cost about $50,000 to buy the well which is daily producing some 90,000 cubic feet of natural gas (enough to heat an average single detached home in Canada for one year) plus two barrels of oil. He figures the decade-old well originally cost about $1 million to drill.Visscher has equipped the well with solar-powered pumps and automated controls designed by his electrical company, Blue Star Electrical, and is using it to demonstrate those products for potential buyers.He said he’s excited about his second well which is awaiting AER licence transfer. It comes with about 260 hectares of Crown drilling rights which means he will have room to drill more wells if he can find the financial backing to do so.OWA chairman Brad Herald says “the clock is ticking” for entrepreneurs like Visscher who want to buy orphan wells because a big acceleration in well site cleanups is expected to start this fall.That’s when a $30-million grant announced in the last federal budget is expected to arrive, allowing the province to go ahead with its plan to offer $235 million in loans for OWA projects.OWA’s annual spending is usually restricted to its $30 million per year industry levy.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter. Tyler Visscher, president and CEO of Blue Star Energy Inc., works at his “adopted” well site near Three Hills, Alta., Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. Where some see only a jumble of rusted pipes and black tanks jutting from a weed-infested yard in a prairie grain field, Tyler Visscher sees opportunity. The 31-year-old Red Deer, Alta., electrician is trying to build an oil and gas company the hard way, by scouring the Orphan Well Association’s list of parentless wells in Alberta in hopes of picking out a few winners. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh read more

Man succumbs to injuries following Mash Day accident

More than one week after a pedal cyclist was struck down by a motorcar along the Reliance Public Road, Essequibo Coast, he succumbed to his injuries while receiving medical attention at the Georgetown Public Hospital on Sunday evening.The dead man has been identified as 21-year-old Arbie Stephens of Reliance, Essequibo Coast.Based on information received, the driver of motorcar, HC 2886 was proceeding along the Reliance Public Road at a fast rate of speed when it was alleged that Stephens suddenly rode across the road and into the path of the car.As a result, the car collided with the pedal cyclist thus causing him to fall unto the roadway and sustained injuries to his head and other parts of his body. He was picked up and rushed to the Suddie Hospital where he was admitted a patient.He reportedly suffered a fractured leg and his condition was regarded as serious. As such, he was subsequently transferred to the GPHC where he was receiving treatment.The driver of the motorcar, a 31-year-old of Richmond Housing Scheme Essequibo Coast was detained but was later released on station bail.However, in light of the death of Stephens, the driver was rearrested and is expected to be charged with causing death by dangerous driving soon. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEssequibo Coast pensioner battling for life after being struck by carOctober 24, 2018In “latest news”Cyclist killed after colliding with car on WCBFebruary 3, 2019In “Crime”Cyclist killed in Mahaicony accidentNovember 27, 2018In “Court” read more

Rares Jurca until 2015 in Kadetten Schaffhausen

Romanian NT player, lefthanded, Rares Jurca (29) will play for Swiss champion, Kadetten Schaffhausen until 2015. Romanian player with experience of playing in C.O Zagreb and FA Goppingen, came to Schaffhausen in 2010.  In couple with Aleksandar Stojanovic on the right back position, Jurca showed good form and deserved confidence of coach Peter EHF ← Previous Story Oliver Roggisch staying “heart of RNL” until 2013! Next Story → Svetislav Verkic in Tatran Presov until 2015! Kadetten SchaffhausenRares JurcaRomaniaRomanian handballSchaffhausenSwiss handball read more

Google Glass update lets users snap photos by winking

first_imgWhether it’s capturing an amazing sunset on an evening walk, or photographing your receipt for the lunch you’ll need to expense, you can now stay in the moment and wink to take a picture instantly.It doesn’t end there. We’re starting with pictures, but just think about what else is possible. Imagine a day where you’re riding in the back of a cab and you just wink at the meter to pay.You wink at a pair of shoes in a shop window and your size is shipped to your door. You wink at a cookbook recipe and the instructions appear right in front of you – hands-free, no mess, no fuss. Pretty cool, right? ALTHOUGH IT HAS yet to be released commercially, Google has added a number of updates for current Google Glass users.Some of the updates include a lock screen – which you unlock with taps and swipes – and updates to its YouTube, Hangouts, and Google music app.Yet the most curious addition is allowing you to take photos by winking. Instead of asking Glass to take a snap, all you need is a quick wink and it will capture what’s in front of you.In an update on Google+, the Google Glass team wrote:center_img Thankfully, it’s an option that you have to switch on first before you can use it. Although if you ever do get a pair, it could be a handy excuse should your attempts to catch someone’s attention goes horribly wrong.Read: Here’s what the world searched for in 2013 >Read: Obama meets heads of Twitter, Facebook and Apple to discuss NSA spying >last_img read more

Thoughts on the July 13th EU agreement

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram As in all great historical moments, simple people understand what is really happening before economists, politicians and commentators are able to analyze the precise details of an event. A fisherman in an Athens market tries to hide his tears hearing from the radio the terms decided by European leaders in Brussels and imposed upon PM Tsipras and his country. That is the details of the way “civilized” and “democratic” Europe will continue on destroying his country and the life of millions of people, in spite of all the referendums of the world. They treat, using financial and political means, a whole people and his state, the same way they treated Iraq or Libya. Simply in the case of the Middle East they were using bombing, instead of financial means! The terms European leaders decided become more and more reminiscent to Greeks of what their country had to suffer under the German Nazi occupation (1941-44). Professor Travlos, a recognized authority in Labour Law, says that, at first glance the terms imposed to Greece are reminiscent of the terms imposed to Germany between 1945 and 1953, as a consequence of its defeat. The way the EU leaders are ordering the Greek parliament to vote legislation in 48 hours, revoking previous legislation it has itself passed, and sometimes not having sufficient time to translate from English into Greek the texts submitted to the deputies, it is felt, and it is a particular humiliation imposed to Greeks by German, Dutch and other leaders, obviously enjoying their clearly sadistic behavior.It is not only a coup d’ Etat in Athens, organized with the help of banks instead of tanks, it is clearly a coup d’ etat affecting the whole functioning and the fundamental ideology to which European Union was supposed to be based upon. The implications are clear for all European nations.In a local SYRIZA organization people are crying in disbelief and despair. They are crying like their fathers and grand fathers, the partisans who fought against Hitler, who won the war and then they were ordered by their leadership, after the Varkiza agreement of 1945, to give up the arms they had taken from the enemy. The An.Ell. party is also in disarray.Two strong forces are clashing in the souls of Greeks. The first is the fundamental psychological mechanism which leads the revolt. This mechanism was put in action, for the majority of Greeks, the 2nd or 3rd of July, when the anger and the need of people for decency and respect did overcome the fear, producing the 61% of the referendum. The second is the despair and discouragement when the leader himself and his generals capitulate. This is what making the political and social situation highly unpredictable.Some in SYRIZA and An.Ell. speak already of betrayal. It is true that Tsipras faced very powerful enemies and a horrible correlation of forces. But, at the same time, he bears enormous, historical responsibility for not preparing, until the last moment, himself, his party and the country for the very probable scenario of a confrontation. He seemed to believe until the very last moment that, somehow, the US-Israel axis could intervene on his behalf. It is true that Obama intervened, and he probably ordered also Paris, Rome and others to intervene, but such an intervention was sufficient just for not kicking Greece out of Eurozone, out of fear of Greece turning towards Russia, not for finding any kind of plausible compromise.We should also point to the fact that a part inside SYRIZA leadership has waged a ferocious battle behind the scenes to reverse the anti-austerity line, to reach a compromise with Creditors at any cost, to cancel the referendum and provoke a defeat of the No camp. As for forces opposing the capitulation course inside the Party, have proven all the way totally ineffective and bureaucratic in nature.Members of SYRIZA are bewildered also by the fact that Tsipras himself has not gone public, to explain in any convincing way the reasons behind his U-turn. The Central Committee has not convened during all these weeks of the crisis. Some ministers or other leading cadres do not try even to claim that this was a retreat, necessary under the circumstances. They try to defend, against common sense, the agreement per se.A huge question is coming now from thousands of mouths: What we do now?“Now begins the struggle”, is the answer by Professor Kasimatis, the top Greek specialist on constitutional law, Founder and Honorary President of the International Association of Constitutional Law. Kasimatis is the author of a devastating legal critique of the colonialist “bail out” programs imposed on Greece after 2010, from the point of view of both the Greek constitutional order and European and international law.The 13th of July “agreement” guarantees in fact the precipitation of the Greek economic and social disaster and the further destruction of Greek democracy. The Greek problem and, with it, the European problem will again explode, in the space of a few weeks or of a few months.The agreement was imposed on the Greek government by Merkel, Dragi, Hollande and the others, by means of coercion, blackmail and economic and political pressure, under the threat, which was already put into application, of provoking the “melting down” of the Greek banking system and the return of the country to the “Stone Age”!The agreement is the product of the massive use of political and economic pressure in international negotiations, banned by the Vienna international convention of 1969. It constitutes the first time in the history of European Union than a member is treated this way. It puts in direct danger the life of hundreds of thousands of Greeks citizens, already victims of the EU-IMF “bail-out” programs and also the security of the country.The decisions of the EU council are a flagrant violation of the will of the Greek citizens, expressed in the recent referendum. The mandate given by Greek citizens it is even much stronger, because it was given under condition of a terror campaign against voting No by nearly all Greek mass media, under the direct threat of very strong international forces and with the ECB waging financial war against Greece, leading to the closure of the banks. One can imagine the percentage No would gain if all these factors did not exist.According to the Greek constitutional order and to European law, the result of the referendum is of a binding character for both Greek authorities, including the Parliament and European institutions. It can be changed only by a new referendum. Once again European authorities and governments are acting, as they did all the time after May 2010, in clear violation of legality.On the level of the economy, the program adopted is clearly a recession provoking program applied to a country that has already suffered, as a result of European “efforts to help it”, by far the biggest economic and social disaster in post WWII capitalist Europe, losing more than 27% of its GDP, that is more than US during the Grand Depression, Weimar Republic during its last three years of its existence, France or Germany during the 1st WW. If Greece needs something is immediate financial help to stop the humanitarian catastrophe and invest in the redressing of the economic situation. In reality it will get the money to pay back its creditors, increasing its own, already unsustainable, sovereign debt. The promises about some future discussion of restructuring and help for development are simply ridiculous. They have given in the past and they were not kept.Besides, the agreement contains a lot of neocolonialist, property looting terms. Such economic measures cannot be applied by a normal parliamentary regime. They can lead either to a civil war, either to a dictatorial regime. In fact this is exactly the ultimate result, if not the aim of the program.25 years ago, the toppling of the eastern “socialist” regimes provoked the collapse of economy and society of those countries. Now it goes the other way around. The collapse of the economy and society are leading to “regime change”. They lead to the negation of the most fundamental political, national and social rights of European peoples, enjoyed by them after the 2nd WW, if not after the French Revolution.The Greek program is not a mistake. If it was it would be corrected long ago. The Greek program is the result of a choice of society and the way to realize this choice. Greece is the laboratory where the future is prepared, like Spain was, before the War, the laboratory for what would follow in all Europe. This the idea dominating powerful circles of the International Finance in alliance with European elites, first of all the German elite. In Greece we have the rare opportunity to see the future they prepare for all of Europe. And this future may be not only a huge social and cultural regression of the continent, but also can lead to war with Russia, if the forces already in action finally win.A day, back in the summer of 2012, I had the opportunity of discussing this idea with Alexis Tsipras, speaking to him about the radical character of the policy of the forces he would face. I was telling him that we face a transition from neoliberal to a “catastrophe capitalism”. He is more a fun of cinema than of Marx, so I suggested him that Kubrick has given us, with his last masterpiece, a very disturbing portrait of the real people dominating our postmodern world and preparing the advent of Totalitarianism. Our world has nothing to do with the world of Roosevelt, Kennedy, De Gaulle etc. He looked to me in great disbelief. He could not believe or understand why there can be forces in Europe wishing to destroy his country. At least let his tragic fate serve as a warning. Illusions about the reality and the dangers we face can be very fatal! last_img read more

Une tempête géante dévoile latmosphère de Saturne sous un nouveau jour

first_imgUne tempête géante dévoile l’atmosphère de Saturne sous un nouveau jourGrâce aux données fournies par la sonde Cassini sur la tempête qui a frappé Saturne il y 2 ans, des chercheurs ont pu en apprendre davantage sur la composition de l’atmosphère de la planète. Celle-ci contiendrait aussi de la glace d’eau.Souvenez-vous, en début d’année, on vous parlait de la tempête géante qui a ceinturé Saturne fin 2010. Un évènement exceptionnel qui s’est maintenu pendant plusieurs mois (plus de 200 jours) sur la planète pour ne disparaitre qu’en juin 2011. Il avait alors créé “le plus grand vortex jamais observé dans la troposphère de Saturne”, tout ceci sous les yeux de la sonde Cassini. Depuis, les chercheurs ont donc recueilli toutes les données fournies par l’engin et les ont scrupuleusement étudiées. Un travail qui a aujourd’hui permis d’en apprendre plus sur la composition des différentes couches de l’atmosphère de Saturne, même les plus profondes.Un sandwich atmosphérique Tous les 30 ans environ, soit une année saturnienne, une tempête géante se déclenche dans l’hémisphère nord de la planète. Mais la tempête de 2010 a atteint des proportions gigantesques, avec près de 15.000 kilomètres de large et des vents soufflant à plus de 500 km/h. Au cours de l’étude publiée par la revue Icarus, des chercheurs de l’université de Wisconsin-Madison ont analysé la composition des nuages de cette tempête.Ceci a permis de constater qu’ils étaient formés d’un mélange de glace d’eau, d’ammoniac solide et d’un 3e composant incertain, supposé être de l’hydrosulfure d’ammonium. “Nous pensons que cette énorme tempête a fait circuler vers le haut ces particules nuageuses, comme la fumée d’un volcan qui fait remonter dans l’atmosphère les matériaux des profondeurs”, explique Lawrence Sromovsky, l’un des auteurs. “La couche supérieure est si optiquement dense que c’est seulement dans les régions agitées par la tempête que l’on peut trouver des preuves de la présence d’ammoniac et de glace”, souligne t-il.Les scientifiques pensent ainsi que l’atmosphère de la planète serait un sandwich de couches différentes, avec à la base des nuages constitués d’eau, au milieu des nuages d’hydrosulfure d’ammonium, près du sommet des nuages d’ammoniac, le tout recouvert d’une brume à la composition inconnue qui obscurcit le tout.Confirmation du modèleMais ce “sandwich atmosphérique” a été perturbé par la super-tempête, conduisant aux données obtenues. Ces dernières et notamment la présence de glace d’eau supportent ainsi la théorie selon laquelle les tempêtes géantes et leurs nuages caractéristiques sont formés par la condensation de l’eau à plus de 200 km sous la surface, un peu comme ce qu’il se produit sur Terre. “L’eau n’a pu provenir que des profondeurs, puis remonter par des puissants mécanismes de convection. La vapeur se condense et gèle au fur et à mesure qu’elle remonte” ajoute le chercheur.C’est la première fois que de l’eau sous cette forme glacée est observée sur Saturne. Toutefois, les super-tempêtes sur cette planète sont bien plus importantes que ce qui peut se produire sur Terre, avec des nuages 10 à 20 fois plus grands et couvrant une surface bien plus grosse. À lire aussiBoisson, météorite et Facebook, les actus sciences que vous devez connaître ce 5 septembre”La nouvelle découverte de Cassini montre que Saturne peut faire ressortir des matériaux situés à plus de 160 kilomètres”, explique Kevin Baines, co-auteur du papier et chercheur au Jet Propulsion Laboratory de la NASA. “Cela démontre dans un sens que Saturne, qui a un aspect normalement discret, peut être aussi explosive ou même plus que Jupiter, habituellement orageuse”.(crédits photo : NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute) Le 5 septembre 2013 à 15:10 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

WWE RAW Ratings Ratings slightly up third hour second lowest nonholiday rating

first_imgFacebook Now Playing Up Next Google+ Now Playing Up Next Seth Rollins The RAW Ratings are in for May 6, 2019.This week’s edition from Cincinnati, Ohio, drew an average of 2.244 million viewers on Monday night according to a report by is slightly up from last week’s show that averaged 2.158 million viewers.WWE came in at No. 4, No. 6, and No. 7 for the night on cable in the 18-49 demographics.The first hour drew the strongest audience (2.468 million viewers).The third hour, which featured two WrestleMania rematches (one of which was a WWE Championship match), had 2.024 million viewers watching, the second lowest non-holiday viewership in the modern era. The lowest was set last week with 1.898 million viewers watching the third hour.It should be noted that the third hour of RAW went head-to-head with the NBA Playoffs, featuring the Golden State Warriors Playoff Game, which drew 6.881 million viewers with a 2.55 rating among adults 18-49.Hourly Breakdowns and Demographics for WWE RAWHour 1: 2.468 (up from 2.336 million viewers last week)Hour 2: 2.240 (down from 2.241 million viewers last week)Hour 3: 2.024 (up from 1.898 million viewers last week)This week’s RAW, headlined by a WWE Championship match with Kofi Kingston taking on Daniel Bryan, averaged a 0.72 rating among adults 18-49. This is the same rating as last week.Recommended videosPowered by AnyClipWrestleMania Could Be Biggest EverVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:30/Current Time 0:04Loaded: 100.00%0:04Remaining Time -0:26 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list WhatsApp Now Playing Up Next Mike Tedesco RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WWE Clash of Champions Results – 9/15/19 (Rollins vs. Strowman, Kingston vs. Orton) Videos Articles Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Next Wrestleview Live #65: Reviewing and discussing WWE Clash of Champions from Charlotte center_img Videos Articles WrestleMania Could Be Biggest Ever WWE Still Moving Forward With Crown Jewel Event In Saudi Arabia Daniel Bryan Vince McMahon Sends Supportive Message To Roman Reigns Video: Watch the live WWE Clash of Champions Kickoff Show from Charlotte tonight Twitter Madison Square Garden Pays Tribute to Roman Reigns Roman Reigns John Oliver Takes On The WWE Pinterest Videos Articleslast_img read more

Nantes pays homage to Emiliano Sala

first_imgThe French club has retired number 9, the number Argentinean footballer Emiliano Sala used with his former team.Emiliano Sala started playing with Nantes in 2015 in the French Ligue 1.The Argentinean forward had a great time at the club, scoring 42 goals in 120 matches.This led English Premier League team Cardiff City to pay a club-record-fee of £15 million for his services.But when he was traveling from Nantes to the capital of Wales his plane crashed into the English Channel, ending his life and his career.Now his former club has pay homage to him, retiring the number 9 he used to wear while at the French league.“We always kept hope, knowing fully well that it was almost an illusion,” Nantes manager Vahid Halilhodzic told the club’s official website.“The truth has fallen into us, and is terrible and unfair.”“But it’s terrible. We can now pay tribute to someone who will leave an eternal mark in this club, with his behavior, his modesty,” he added.“Not only as a player but also as a man. He was unanimous everywhere. I have seen the sporting world pay tribute to this person. We will pay tribute before the training, worthily and simply, as he was.”Parce qu’Emiliano Sala fera à jamais partie des légendes qui ont écrit la grande histoire du FC Nantes, le numéro 9⃣ qu’il a porté est retiré.#RIPSala Neymar needs to apologize to PSG’s supporters Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 After such a dramatic summer during the transfer window, Neymar truly needs to apologize to all the PSG supporters this weekend.When Neymar finished last…— FC Nantes (@FCNantes) February 8, 2019“It was a shock to hear this bad news. We were all convinced that he could be somewhere alive, but after two days without news we lost hope,” he explained how Sala’s former teammates felt.“He was really a loved boy. He disappeared brutally and it’s hard to accept. I have a lot of affection for my players.”“After our last match he came and talked to me, thanked me,” he continued.“There are a lot of things jostling in my memory. We will keep his memory forever. He was an example of humanity. It was a pleasure to work with him. He was a boy with a lot of character.”“We are also playing a crucial moment in our season. The transfer window has destroyed our work for three and a half months,” Halilhodzic said about the transfers coming into the team.“I do not know how we will get out of it, but I will try to create this sacred union. The group must come out with character to get by.”Un dernier but si représentatif de l’homme : un guerrier qui a su conquérir le coeur des supporters… 🙌#RIPSala— FC Nantes (@FCNantes) February 9, 2019last_img read more

Delleriece Hall is new General Manager at LIME

first_img Related Items:Delleriece Hall, general manager, john reid, lime Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp The Indian Premier League Has a New Home in the Caribbean Flow Sports now offers an unrivalled Cricket line-up Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 07 Jul 2015 – Delleriece Hall says that she loves to manage change and has now spent two weeks at the helm at LIME as the TCI branch’s first female General Manager. Hall joined Cable and Wireless nineteen years ago and is no stranger to breaking ground, working from a Customer Service Supervisor to the first female to be Head of Sales and Corporate Services and now the GM. While we have seen no information on what happened to the last General Manager, James Pitt, who spent just one year on the job here in the Turks and Caicos; many applaud the return of a TC Islander back to leadership of the company which has been operating in the country for a reported 117 years. Hall, who takes on the role just as LIME has acquired and activates the assets of former rival, Islandcom, said in a media statement: “I am very focused on running the leading telecommunications company in our islands, and delivering a world-class customer experience.” John Reid, C&W’s President Consumer Group, applauded Hall for her contribution to the business over the years and said, “Delleriece Hall comes to this role with a diverse and solid track record. Her skills set and extensive experience in telecoms have combined to position her as the right talent to lead the Turks and Caicos business during this time of transformation.”LIME adds that it is continuing to transform the business into a more customer-focused telecoms, “delivering a suite of innovative products and services underpinned by a robust, world-class network.” Congratulations to Mrs. Delleriece Hall. Recommended for you Flow counting down to Rio Games, launches Gold Tour campaign Perdina wins Movado Watch set from LIME & Jai’slast_img read more

US asks countries to provide traveler data or face sanctions

first_imgThe US State Department will require all nations to provide extensive data to help it vet visa applicants and determine whether a traveler poses a terrorist threat, according to a cable obtained by Reuters.Countries that fail to comply with the new protocols or take steps to do so within 50 days could face travel sanctions.The cable, sent to all US diplomatic posts on Wednesday, is a summary of a worldwide review of vetting procedures that was required under US President Donald Trump’s revised March 6 executive order that temporarily banned US travel by most citizens from six predominantly Muslim countries.The memo lays out a series of standards the United States will require of other countries, including that they issue, or have active plans to issue, electronic passports and regularly report lost and stolen passports to INTERPOL.It also directs nations to provide “any other identity information” requested by Washington for US visa applicants, including biometric or biographic details.The cable sets out requirements for countries to provide data on individuals it knows or has grounds to believe are terrorists as well as criminal record information.Further, countries are asked not to block the transfer of information about US-bound travelers to the US government and not to designate people for travel watchlists based solely on their political or religious beliefs.“This is the first time that the US Government is setting standards for the information that is required from all countries specifically in support of immigration and traveler vetting,” the cable said.The new requirements are the latest in a series of steps the Trump administration says it is taking to better protect the United States from terrorist attack.However, former officials said much of the information sought is routinely shared between countries, including examples of passports and additional details about particular travelers that may present security concerns.Some US allies may worry about privacy protections if Washington is seen as seeking information beyond what is already shared, said John Sandweg, a former senior Homeland Security Department official now with the firm Frontier Solutions.“I don’t think you can ignore the political aspects of the unpopularity of the current administration. That puts political pressure to stand up to the administration,” he said.The cable lays out risk factors the US government will consider when evaluating a country. Some of these are controversial and could be difficult for countries to prove to US satisfaction, including ensuring “that they are not and do not have the potential to become a terrorist safe haven.”Countries are also expected to agree to take back citizens ordered removed from the United States.If they do not provide the information requested, or come up with an adequate plan to, countries could end up on a list to be submitted to Trump for possible sanction, including barring “categories” of their citizens from entering the United States.The real worries for countries may not come until the results of this review are known, said Leon Rodriguez, the former director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.“Once they start making decisions I think that is where there is going to be a lot of anxiety,” he said, saying delays in visa processing for nations that do not pose much of a threat could start to hurt “ordinary business and personal travel.”The most controversial of Trump’s immigration-related moves are two executive orders, challenged in federal court, which impose a temporary ban on travel to the United States for most citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.While the orders were initially blocked from being enforced, the Supreme Court on June 26 allowed the ban to go into effect for people from the six nations with no strong ties to the United States.The cable requires countries to act quickly, but stressed that the United States would work with foreign nations to assess if they meet the standards and, if not, to come up with a plan to help them do so.The cable asks that US diplomats “underscore that while it is not our goal to impose a ban on immigration benefits, including visas, for citizens of any country, these standards are designed to mitigate risk, and failure to make progress could lead to security measures by the USG, including a presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of certain categories of foreign nationals of non-compliant countries.”The cable says the US government has made a preliminary determination that some countries do not meet the new standards and that others are “at risk” of not meeting them. It does not name these, listing them in a separate, classified cable.The State Department declined comment on the cable, saying it would not discuss internal communications.“The US government’s national security screening and vetting procedures for visitors are constantly reviewed and refined to improve security and more effectively identify individuals who could pose a threat to the United States,” said a US State Department official on condition of anonymity.last_img read more

Australian bishop gets 1yr jail for concealing child abuse

first_imgAustralian Archbishop Philip Wilson arrives for sentencing at Newcastle Local Court in Newcastle on 3 July. Photo: APThe most senior Roman Catholic cleric to be convicted of covering up child sex abuse was sentenced to 12 months in detention by an Australian court Tuesday in a landmark case welcomed by some abuse survivors as a strong warning to institutions that fail to protect children.Newcastle Magistrate Robert Stone ordered Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson to serve at least 6 months before he is eligible for parole.But Wilson will not immediately go into custody. Stone will consider on 14 August whether Wilson is suitable for home detention. He could live with his sister near Newcastle.Stone in May found the 67-year-old cleric guilty in the Newcastle Local Court of failing to report to police the repeated abuse of two altar boys by paedophile priest James Fletcher in the Hunter Valley region north of Sydney during the 1970s. Wilson faced a potential maximum sentence of two years in prison.Stone said Wilson failed to act against Fletcher because he “wanted to protect the church and its image.”“The whole of the community is devastated in so many ways by the decades of abuse and its concealment,” the magistrate said. “We are all the poorer for what has occurred.”Survivors of abuse who protested against the church outside the court on Tuesday called on Wilson to resign as archbishop. They carried signs accusing the church of hypocrisy and describing it as a “fraudulent cult.”Peter Gogarty, a child abuse victim and advocate for fellow survivors, said he was disappointed that Wilson had walked free from court, but “there is no doubt the archbishop has received a significant sentence.”But survivors remained pleased by the landmark conviction, he said.“We have made history here in Australia: The highest-ranked church official to ever be brought to account for what we know was a worldwide systematic abuse of children and the concealment of that abuse,” Gogarty told reporters. “So I’m content that we’ve done something in Australia that nobody else has been able to manage.”The sentencing was another step toward holding the church to account for a global abuse crisis that has also engulfed Pope Francis’ financial minister, Australian Cardinal George Pell. Some lawyers said they expect many more clerics to be charged in Australia as a result of Wilson’s test case.Prosecutor Gareth Harrison last month told the magistrate Wilson must be jailed to send a message that such institutional cover-ups will no longer be tolerated.Defence lawyer Ian Temby told the court that Wilson had several chronic illnesses and might not survive a prison sentence.Australian state governments are ramping up pressure on the church to report child abuse and are legislating to prosecute priests who maintain that revelations of paedophilia made in the confessional cannot be disclosed. Wilson did not use the seal of the confession as an excuse for failing to acting on allegations against Fletcher. Instead, Wilson testified that he did not recall ever hearing allegations against his fellow priest.Fletcher was arrested on unrelated child abuse charges in 2004 and died in prison of a stroke in 2006 while serving an almost eight-year sentence.A five-year national inquiry into child abuse recommended in December that priests be prosecuted for failing to report evidence of paedophilia heard in the confessional.Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse had investigated how the Catholic Church and other institutions responded to sexual abuse of children in Australia over 90 years. A royal commission is Australia’s highest form of inquiry.The inquiry heard testimony from more than 8,000 survivors of child sex abuse. Of those who were abused in religious institutions, 62 per cent were Catholics.Francis last week accepted the resignation of Melbourne’s Archbishop Denis Hart, who said he’d prefer jail to telling civil authorities about any sex abuse of children that might be revealed to him in the confessional.The Vatican said the pontiff had appointed Monsignor Peter Comensoli, 54, to head the archdiocese that covers Australia’s second-largest city.Wilson stepped down as Adelaide archbishop after he was convicted in May. Adelaide is the capital of South Australia State which will bring in laws in October obliging priests to report evidence of abuse heard during a confession. The Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania State are planning similar laws.But acting Adelaide Archbishop Greg O’Kelly said priests would not obey the law.“Politicians can change the law, but we can’t change the nature of the confessional, which is a sacred encounter between a penitent and someone seeking forgiveness and a priest representing Christ,” O’Kelly told Australian Broadcasting Corp last month.“We have an understanding of the seal of confession that is in the area of the sacred,” he added.Pell, who served at the Vatican as one of the pope’s top aides, has become the highest ranking Catholic in the world to be charged in the church’s global abuse scandal.The 77-year-old faces trial in his home state of Victoria on decades-old child sex abuse allegations. Pell has denied wrongdoing. Details of the allegations haven’t been made public.Francis has insisted top clerics be held responsible for failing to crack down on paedophile clergy.last_img read more

Pompeo heads to Middle East with coalition assurances

first_imgUS secretary of state Mike Pompeo speaks with the press on as he flies to the Middle East on 7 January. Photo: AFP Pompeo heads to Middle East with coalition assurancesUS secretary of state Mike Pompeo vowed Monday that the Islamic State group would not be allowed to regroup as he headed to the Middle East following president Donald Trump’s surprise decision to pull US troops from Syria.Leaving on a trip to eight Arab capitals, Pompeo told reporters he would show that “the United States is still committed to all the missions that we’ve signed up for with them over the past two years.”The trip comes weeks after Trump announced that the United States would quickly pull its 2,000 soldiers out of Syria, declaring that the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or IS, had been defeated.His advisers have since been walking back his timeline, with national security adviser John Bolton saying Monday in Jerusalem that the United States would verify that the group is truly defeated before withdrawing.Highlighting that IS emerged during the tenure of Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, Pompeo said the campaign to destroy the movement’s self-styled caliphate in war-battered Syria has been “enormously successful.”“And I am confident that we will continue to ensure that the kind of rise that ISIS had under the Obama administration doesn’t occur again,” he said on his plane as he started his longest trip since taking over as top US diplomat last year.Coalition against IranPompeo opens his trip in Jordan and will deliver an address on Middle East policy in Egypt, whose military ruler turned president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has been a key partner of Trump.Another major focus of the tour will be sustaining a regional coalition to counter Iran, the main enemy of US allies Saudi Arabia and Israel.“This is a coalition that understands that the largest threats—terrorism and the Islamic Republic of Iran—are things that we ought to work on jointly and we will be marshaling all of the resources, theirs and ours, to achieve them,” Pompeo said.Last year, Trump pulled out of an international accord negotiated under Obama on ending Iran’s nuclear program and has instead reimposed biting sanctions.Pompeo repeatedly has called Iran “the world’s largest state sponsor of terror,” pointing to its targeting of domestic rivals in Europe and support of militant movements such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah.Promises from TurkeyThe Trump administration has cited Iran as a reason for maintaining a strong alliance with Saudi Arabia, which Pompeo also will visit, despite the killing and dismemberment of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate in October.One of the rare US partners to support the US withdrawal from Syria has been Turkey, whose president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, spoke to Trump before the US leader’s December 19 decision.Pompeo, in an interview before his departure, said that Erdogan has given assurances to Trump not to attack US-allied Kurdish forces who fought IS in Syria.“President Erdogan made a commitment to President Trump as the two of them were discussing what this ought to look like—that the Turks would continue the counter-ISIS campaign after our departure and that the Turks would ensure that the folks that we’d fought with, that had assisted us in the counter-ISIS campaign, would be protected,” Pompeo told CNBC television.Pompeo was elaborating on his remark last week that the United States was working to ensure that “the Turks don’t slaughter the Kurds”—a choice of words that angered Turkey, which said the top US diplomat had a “worrying lack of knowledge.”The US-backed Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units form the backbone of the opposition Syrian Democratic Forces, but Erdogan considers them linked to the PKK, which has waged a bloody insurgency inside Turkey in the name of the Kurdish minority.Bolton is set to hold talks Tuesday in Turkey after meetings in Israel, which has privately worried that Trump’s withdrawal would empower Iran, which along with Russia offers military backing to President Bashar al-Assad.last_img read more